Three Spartans Are NFL Draft Selections

For the first time since 1983, three San Jose State players were selected in the NFL draft when Jarron Gilbert (Chicago Bears) and Christopher Owens (Atlanta Falcons) were chosen in the 3rd round, and Coye Francies was selected in the 6th round by the Cleveland Browns

Defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert waited around all day on Saturday, April 25th, for his name to be called in the 2009 NFL Draft. His wait ended early Sunday morning when he was selected by the Chicago Bears with the fourth pick in the third Round (the 68th overall pick). Gilbert's selection was the earliest for a San Jose State player since 2001 when Sean Brewer was selected with the 66th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

In his final season at San Jose State, Gilbert recorded 52 tackles, including 22 tackles-for-loss and 9-1/2 sacks.

Gilbert will be joining former San Jose State wide receivers Rashied Davis and John Broussard, who are also currently members of the Chicago Bears.

For cornerback Christopher Owens, the wait to be selected was probably not as long as he might have expected. Owens, who was projected as a fourth or fifth round selection, was selected with the 26th pick in the third round (the 90th overall pick) by the Atlanta Falcons.

Owens' fellow Spartans cornerback, Coye Francies, was selected three rounds later when the Cleveland Browns picked him with the 18th selection of the 6th round (191st overall pick). The last time San Jose State had more than two players drafted by the NFL in a single year was 1983 Five Spartans were selected in an twelve round draft that year, with Gill Byrd, Ken Thomas, Brian Hawkins, Mervyn Frenandez, and Tim Kearse all being chosen. This was the first time three San Jose State players were selected in the same year since the NFL reduced the number of draft rounds to only seven rounds in 1994.

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Mike Morgan is Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at

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